Sixteen-year-old physics nerd Aysel is obsessed with plotting her own death. With a mother who can barely look at her without wincing, classmates who whisper behind her back, and a father whose violent crime rocked her small town, Aysel is ready to turn her potential energy into nothingness.
There’s only one problem: she’s not sure she has the courage to do it alone. But once she discovers a website with a section called Suicide Partners, Aysel’s convinced she’s found her solution: a teen boy with the username FrozenRobot (aka Roman) who’s haunted by a family tragedy is looking for a partner.
Even though Aysel and Roman have nothing in common, they slowly start to fill in each other’s broken lives. But as their suicide pact becomes more concrete, Aysel begins to question whether she really wants to go through with it. Ultimately, she must choose between wanting to die or trying to convince Roman to live so they can discover the potential of their energy together. Except that Roman may not be so easy to convince.
Where did the idea of My Heart and Other Black Holes come from? Are they from experiences or observations?
I started to write the book after the death of one of my closest friends and my grief served as chief inspiration. But while the novel stemmed from grief, I think the book is really about love (in all its forms, especially self-love) and the importance of human connection.
Who’s your inspiration when you’re writing your book?
Usually my main character. I write from voice, so I try to channel my main character’s voice and that’s how I find the story. That said, sometimes my main characters are inspired by people. For example, in the project I’m working on now, I’m drawing a lot of inspiration from Mindy Kaling.
How would you define your true friends?
People who I can be 100% myself with and 100% honest with. Also, people who send me cat gifs.
What’s your favorite book? ( I know it’s very difficult to choose one.)
Weetzie Bat is probably my favorite YA book ever as it’s the YA book I read as a teenager that made me want to write similar novels of my own. I also love all of Jandy Nelson’s books, and Margaret Atwood’s The Blind Assassin might be the most perfect novel ever written.
Are you planning to go here in the PH?
I wish!! I really want to visit. While on tour in the US, I was talking with Victoria Aveyard about how fun it would be to visit the PH. Invite us both?
Are working on another project?
Yes! I’m under contract with Harper for a second YA novel.
If yes, when will be the expected publication?
Yikes. I think 2016 if I can make my deadline.
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